Revitalising Campus Heritage: Austin-Smith:Lord Leading the Redevelopment of Swansea University’s Fulton House

Fulton House Summer 2023 frontage
Fulton House

Revitalising Campus Heritage: Austin-Smith:Lord Leading the Redevelopment of Swansea University's Fulton House

Swansea University has enlisted Austin-Smith: Lord to lead a transformative project aimed at breathing new life into their historic Fulton House Building in the heart of the Singleton campus.

Built in 1961, the modernist Grade II Listed Fulton House stands as an architectural statement designed by the visionary Percy Thomas Partnership. Initially conceived as a mid-century interpretation of traditional university “common life” the building provided a central home for resident students and staff by providing dining halls, common rooms, music and film showings, games rooms and student advice services as the focal point for non-academic activities.

As the face of the Singleton campus, the building’s significance extends beyond its architectural prominence. It welcomes all visitors as they arrive at the campus from the seafront, leaving an indelible first impression. For students, it represents more than just a building; it is a central element of their university journey, weaving itself into the tapestry of campus life.

The project, led by Austin-Smith: Lord, sets forth several key objectives to transform Fulton House into a high-quality Student Hub which reflects the changes in student life since 1960. This hub will serve as a central point for student activities at Singleton Campus, providing a welcoming environment and wider variety of social space for both students and staff. The Student Hub will also establish vital links to student-facing facilities and services across the university, enhancing the overall student experience at Swansea University.

The redevelopment also aims to increase the value of Fulton House as a building asset. This will be achieved through key internal moves, unlocking the building’s potential to act as a student social hub. Improvements will be made to accessibility, wayfinding, and the energy efficiency of the building fabric. Building services will be upgraded to support the resolution of long-term maintenance issues, and solutions will be implemented to address issues of non-compliance.

As part of its commitment to sustainability and excellence, the project strives to achieve a prestigious SKA Fit-out Gold rating as well as meet the targets set out in the Decarbonisation Action Plan set by the University. Retrofitting the existing building is of course a key sustainability decision, reducing waste and drastically minimising embodied carbon and energy compared to a demolition and new build approach.

The concept design aims to create a distinctive new experience of Fulton House, one which celebrates the building’s history and reframes it in a contemporary way, providing a student-centred facility.

Project Director Tim Young stated “The revitalization of Fulton House is about creating a space that will inspire and support the next generation of students. We are dedicated to blending the rich heritage of the building with modern, student-centric design to ensure Fulton House remains a dynamic hub for years to come.”

Project Team

Client: Swansea University
Project Manager: Gleeds
Structural and Civil Engineering: Jubb
MEP Engineering and Decarbonisation: Troup Bywater + Anders
Cost Consultant and SKA Assessors: Coreus
CDM and Fire Engineering: Green Hat
Acoustics: Mach Acoustics